Did you know the 1993 live-action “Super Mario Bros.” movie could've been a LOT different? When it was first green-lighted in 1991, the first draft of the script envisioned a COMPLETELY different film, one that was actually faithful to the games. It would've involved Mario and Luigi (played by Danny DeVito and Steve Buscemi) as they attempt to rescue Princess Hildy (the princess was still called “Toadstool” in the US back then, so the producers wanted a better name) from the evil King Koopa (played by Arnold Schwarzenegger in very, VERY heavy makeup and costuming) in a wacky world reminiscent of The Wizard of Oz and Alice in Wonderland. This script laid the groundwork for how the characters were used by later writers: Mario is the reluctant hero, while Luigi is the dreamer who gets the girl. Both must overcome deep-stemmed differences to become “brothers” for the first time.
The script, written by Tom S. Parker and Jim Jennewein (who would later write the “Richie Rich” movie and the “Flinstones” movie) can be found online here: http://www.smbmovie.com/SMBArchive/preproduction/script/1_SMB_EarlyDraft_7-17-91.pdf
Sadly, this project fell apart when DeVito dropped out due to scheduling conflicts, Schwarzenegger declined to sign on, and director Greg Beeman (who would later produce and direct “Smallville”) quit due to creative differences with the studio. When the new directors, Rocky Morton and Annabel Jankel, came onto the project, they decided to scrap this script and write a new, sci-fi-oriented one, replace Bruno Kirby (who had briefly replaced DeVito) first with Tom Hanks and later Bob Hoskins, and replace Buscemi with John Leguizamo. The result? The film we see today.
But what if things went in a different direction? What if this project actually took off, produced without significant delays, and released in the summer of 1992 instead of the spring of 1993?
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